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Italian Grand Prix
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Race Report - Results
Juan Pablo Montoya wins his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher. Michael Schumacher, Pedro de la Rosa and Jacques Villeneuve made the top 6.
Before the race started, Michael Schumacher
asked all the drivers for a non-racing start until the first two corners
given that a marshal was killed at the second corner last year and the
horrific crash that Alex Zanardi suffered yesterday at the CART race in
Germany. While most of the drivers agreed, Jacques Villeneuve disagreed
and indicated that he will be racing from the word go.
Before the formation lap, Fisichella and Heidfeld had their cars pulled back into the pits suffering problems and had to start from the pits.
At the start, Juan Pablo Montoya gets away
cleanly and so does Barrichello, Michael and Ralf. Trulli starting from
5th gets hit by Button who has a superb start but brakes too late. Trulli
retires in the gravel while Button loses his front wing.
Jenson Button and David Coulthard both retire with engine failures early in the race.
On lap 9 Rubens Barrichello overtakes Juan Pablo Montoya and immediately opens a gap. Michael Schumacher closes in on Montoya while Ralf in 4th drops back.
On lap 19, Michael Schumacher still stuck
behind Montoya pits for his first stop. This was strange as the Italian GP
is usually run with a single pit stop. A lap later Barrichello pits and he
loses over 6 seconds during the pit due to a refuelling problem.
On lap 21 Mika Hakkinen retires with gearbox problems, both McLaren's are out!
On lap 28 Montoya makes his first and only
pit stop, Ralf Schumacher takes the lead and Montoya rejoins in 3rd place
The 2 Ferrari's pit on lap 41 and 42 and Barrichello rejoins in 3rd ahead of Michael Schumacher. Montoya retakes the lead.
Barrichello catches and passes Ralf Schumacher for second which is crucial for his fight to claim second in the championship.
Juan Pablo Montoya goes on to win the race with a 5 second lead over Rubens Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher finished 3rd ahead of Michael Schumacher while Pedro de la Rosa finishes a strong 5th ahead of Jacques Villeneuve in 6th place.
It was the first time this season that Michael Schumacher didn't finish in 1st or 2nd this season when he finished a race. This race also marks Trulli's 5th retirement in a row, Eddie Irvine's 4th retirement in a row and Jenson Button's 3rd retirement in a row. Jean Alesi has yet to be classified as a non-finisher this season. He finished all the races this season even though he spun out of the European GP a few laps from the finish and was classified 15th.
So with 2 races to go, the fight for second place in both Championships looks certain to go down to the wire. With the retirement of the 2 McLaren and Williams finishing first and third, McLaren lead Williams by just 8 points. In the Driver's championship, David Coulthard leads Rubens Barrichello by just 3 points while Ralf Schumacher is just 6 points behind Rubens. The US and Japanese GP's are high speed tracks which favour the powerful Williams BMW team.
Next race : The US GP on the 30th of September